F Champagne for breakfast? - jeepneyjinggoy

Champagne for breakfast?

Care for a glass?

Maybe it’s the standard in this hotel, and this would be my first encounter of this kind -- chilled champagne bottle on the first table of the buffet – breakfast buffet.

The trip to Siem Reap happened when Veron and Googie extended an invitation to join them and bunk in with them in Raffles Hotel. I haven’t stayed in any Raffles property so I grabbed the chance. It would list as another first along with my first time to see Angkor Wat, the structure I have been dreaming to see since college.

Dreams were sweet on the first night, especially on a bed in a villa (thanks for the room upgrade folks!). Breakfast was even sweeter with the pleasant welcome of everyone as I entered the Angkor Café.

Breakfast is served at Angkor Cafe

This is what’s nice about the province - time moves slower and life is lived stress-free compared to that in the city, people are more relaxed, welcoming and charming. Just like the staff in this hotel, their smiles are as warm as the morning sun gleaming through the windowpanes. 

Warm & bright

I immediately made a friend. This nice lady at the egg station who offered her specialties until I was able to say yes to one- her salmon omelet. It was fantastic. She kept letting me have it every morning until I declined. When I requested for sunny side up, it came with salmon and capers on the side, and a plate of creatively sliced ripe mangoes followed. She reminded me of my mom who made sure I have a nice hearty breakfast at the start of each day. 

My favorite person in the cafe

From salmon omelet to salmon on the side

The dim sum fare was nice, too.

The other thing I loved about the spread was the freshly made juices, concoctions of fresh fruits served in shot glasses. That, and the “juice of the day” offered by the waiters to each diner at their table.

Shots of healthy potions

This was just the first day and the first time I saw Raffles Hotel in daylight. I was loving every moment of this gift, this blessing. Should I toast this opportunity with a chilled glass of champagne? 

Should I?

Maybe not this time. There was a full day ahead of us. Veron, our host and designated tour guide, has picked the temples to visit for the day. She wanted us ready and conditioned for an entire day of trekking under the heat of the Cambodian sun, which can be punishing we were told. 

"Have a hearty breakfast, it's going to be a long day ahead," said Veron (left).

Another surprise, although the tuktuks can be hired at $10 for a day of touring around Siem Reap, an SUV was waiting for us at the driveway, with a chauffer no less. I can get used to this. Veron, you are just too much! Thank you! 

No $10 tuktuk ride for us...

And so Siem Reap’s famed “Temple Run” began….

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